Despite the ruckus over the AgustaWestland scam and President’s rule in Uttarakhand, the just-concluded Budget session was one of the most productive sessions in the recent history of Parliament, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi.
The Lok Sabha worked for 121% of scheduled hours, the second most productive session in over a decade after the 122% hit in Budget session 2015. At 91%, the RS was more productive in this session compared with the past two sessions.
It worked 51% in winter session 2015 and 9% in monsoon session 2015.
Of the 17 Bills that got approval of both H(excluding finance and appropriation Bills), the nod to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code was hailed as a big reform initiative to improve ease of doing business. The code would help speed up resolution of distressed corporate assets and boost creditors’ ability to recover loans in a time-bound manner.
The other key reform bill was giving statutory backing for Aadhaar to be used for targeted delivery of subsidies and services, which could help government plug leakages to the tune of Rs 70,000 crore a year if direct benefit transfer is implemented in major welfare schemes. The passage of the the Real Estate Bill is expected to protect home buyers from unscrupulous developers, particularly from long delays in delivery and arbitrary change in design and layout of the projects.
Among the major Bills, the GST Constitutional Amendment Bill remained in limbo as it could not be taken up by the Rajya Sabha due to elusive political consensus.
The Lok Sabha adjourned sine die on May 11, two days ahead of schedule, while the Rajya Sabha adjourned sine die on May 13 as scheduled. Both Houses discussed the railway and general budgets. However, the Lok Sabha discussed the demand for grants of only about 1% of the Rs 20 lakh crore Budget and the remaining demands were passed without discussion.
The Budget session between February 23 and May 13 was originally planned to be held in two parts — from February 23 to March 16 and April 25 to May 13. However, the government decided to convert these into two separate sessions in order to enable the issuance of an ordinance.
Though not scheduled, the government introduced two new Bills in Parliament — the Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2016, and The Enforcement of Security Interest and Recovery of Debts Laws and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Bill, 2016.